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The Role of California’s Parents in Insuring Quality Schooling For All

Abstract

Rogers explores the role of parents, ordinary citizens, and local school boards in preventing or detecting and thus helping to correct substandard conditions in California’s schools. California has constructed an elaborate accountability system for insuring school quality and promoting school improvement that includes substantial references to parent participation. Rogers seeks to make sense of the State’s commitment to and practice of engaging parents in its accountability system. It answers the following questions: Does the State of California offer a clear vision of how parents can help insure that their children’s schools offer the full range of learning opportunities promised by the State? What conditions are necessary for parents to play such a role? Does the State provide for these conditions? Rogers’ offers a four-part analysis. He first considers the meaning of parent involvement in educational accountability, focusing on the role of parents in accessing, contributing to, and acting upon information about students’ opportunity to learn and school quality. Second, Rogers draws on a wide array of State policies on parent involvement in public school accountability and school improvement to lay out a comprehensive overview of the State’s commitment to parent participation in educational accountability. Third, he uses empirical evidence from two case studies to assess whether California provides parents with the opportunities that its own framework claims to provide. Fourth, building upon the State of California’s own vision of parent participation in accountability, Rogers points to the requirements of an educational accountability system that allows parents to play a meaningful role in insuring safe and quality learning conditions for all students.

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